We pick cruises based upon the destination and the ports. This cruise included Oslo, Copenhagen, Riga, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. This was only a seven night cruise and it included 6 countries. No other cruise line offered this same itinerary. Even RCI offered it only once (our cruise in July 2011). We also liked the "one way" nature of the cruise so we could arrive early in Oslo and stay later in Stockholm.
We had never cruised with RCI, lately NCL and Regent. So, we had an Owners' Suite which are the largest 8 suites on the ship (except for the one Royal Suite).
We stayed two nights in Oslo prior to leaving on the cruise. We stayed at the Thon Hotel by the Opera House. This Thon hotel is right next to the train station so was more convenient for airport transportation rather than convenient to the port. The RCI port in Oslo is not far from the main tourist area and downtown but the cab ride was still about 300 kroners.
8004 - Very large suite. Nice balcony with padded chairs. Bathroom is large with 2 sinks, a jetted tub and separate shower. Room has 2 TV's but didn't get ESPN.
DVD player and free movies to check-out.
Well positioned near the front of the ship. Very quiet.